Cutting Social Security can have consequences

Annabel Park's quote about Social Security and Medicare cuts.

Annabel Park’s quote about Social Security and Medicare cuts.

This quote from Annabel Park was posted on the Join the Coffee Party Facebook page, and with the discussions that came from it, I began thinking about the ideals of civility while being able to share my liberal progressive thoughts that may upset some conservatives.

It appears that some conservatives may have thought that the use of the words ‘people die’ was directed solely at the Republican Party, and just because many in the Republican Party believe that more cuts are needed, this does not mean they own the issue, because sometimes bad things happen, and they are not always political, but personal.

I get it. It is very direct and the word ‘die’ is automatically associated, by some, with the Republican Party, but is it true that people die with cuts to Social Security and Medicare? I have a personal story that may help answer that question.

My Mom never had insurance or could afford it, and she had a serious medical condition. She paid full price for what little healthcare that she could get, and was always paying medical bills. She looked forward to the day that she would be old enough to get on Social Security.

As many may remember, the age was moved back for getting Social Security and is still being talked about moving back even more. This news came as a shock to my Mom.

I can still remember the look on her face when she learned that she would have to wait a few more years, and how she seemed to finally resign herself to the fact that it would be too late for her to get the treatment needed before her condition was too bad to be treated.

She never complained though, and she stoically kept her sadness inside. If one were to talk to her, they would never had known that she had any worries about her health, but they were there nonetheless.

She died one year after getting on Social Security.

Social Security Poster: old man

Social Security Poster: old man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would ask how any one party can own the narrative on this issue? Let me put it this way. If an environmental catastrophe occurs, caused by a lack of regulation, while killing and affecting the lives of millions in our country, would we be having this conversation again because there are many conservatives that favor big business’s need to remove the EPA, or at least make sure that it does not have any teeth to help anyone?

Would we not be able to be blunt and say that people died during this event due to policies not taking the population’s safety in mind? Again, I must say that sometimes things are bad, but this does not mean it is political, but personal.

This is an issue that I feel very strongly about, and as much as I want to bring about dialog between the liberals and the conservatives for compromise and consensus, no one is allowed to high jack this issue that is so dear to me and my belief that more people can be helped if I stand up and speak out.

In other words, my own voice would be muted here because there are some conservatives that do not agree with me. As I said before, that is their own choice, as I have mine, but it does not change the reality of healthcare issues for the poor.

It is important though, that those that favor cutting Social Security and Medicare know that these cuts can have consequences, and good people may suffer as a result. They may even die.

It is the simple truth that I have learned all too well.

A dialog on civility

George Caleb Bingham - The County Election, Wikimedia Commons

George Caleb Bingham – The County Election, Wikimedia Commons

We all want a civil society, but what does civility actually mean when describing today’s bombastic rhetoric to each other.

No matter which side, liberal or conservative, one can easily find comments on the internet that show no desire to find common ground, and remaining cordial is a useless exercise to some.

We have all seen it.

There is so much anger today, and finding ways to extinguish that fire can seem to be a daunting task for anyone that believes that we will have to find ways to work together, to move forward.

Unfortunately, it appears there are some that believe the fight is worth fighting, and being civil is needless and unwanted. Their efforts extend to trying to eradicate the opposing political parties views.

We are in a new kind of civil war that is dividing family and friends. This has become more prevalent since so many have turned to Facebook to air their differences. 

The new norm is an us versus them mentality, if you will. Winning this fight has gotten everyone so worked up, that I wish everyone would take a collective deep breath to see how we are talking to each other, and to find ways to heal the wounds that have been inflicted.

What is not seen or heard though is the fact that there are many that think politics is not worth losing friendships with their family and friends, so they go underground with their beliefs to keep the peace. I am in between. I believe strongly in my political ideals and I want to be able to express my values without fear, but I have lost friendships too, and I have become tame compared to some.

In my community, I have totally different political values to many, but I grew up in the same environment that they did. I know the same people that they do. I went hunting at a young age, like many, and went to the same churches, festivals and events. I am a part of the community and the community is part of me, as it is with them.

Sometimes, I feel they can be hard-headed and refuse to back away from their positions, but I find that I am just as adamant about my own positions. The difficulty is if they get into a huff, they just walk away for good, and let me tell you, they have long memories.

I have learned that I have to be very diplomatic when talking to my friends, and I know there are some people you just can’t reach, but I do believe it is possible for them to at least accept that my ideals should be on the table and not disqualified out of hand as so often happens today. At the same time, I don’t want them to think that I am discrediting their thoughts as well.

Because of all of the heated rhetoric, I understand what it means to feel like a stranger in my own community, and that I am only tolerated, because I was born here. I know that this isn’t true, but the feeling is the same. The ground beneath my feet still feels like home though, and nothing will persuade me to think otherwise.

One fact still remains the same, I am just as much an American as any other, no matter my beliefs. But is the fight worth it?

Being from Kentucky, the Hatfield and McCoy feud comes to mind. The fight between them lasted for generations, and back then, they could have never envisioned a day when they wouldn’t be fighting, but today, they only battle each other to see who can bring in the most tourist money for their communities. Their feud has faded away.

Will this feud that we are in today, that is causing so much incivility and harm, do the same? I hope so.